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The BBC’s flagship countryside and rural affairs programme is set to highlight one of Cumbria’s forests as a top destination for sculpture, mountain biking and wildlife A camera crew from BBC Countryfile, including popular presenters Julia Bradbury and John Craven, visited Grizedale Forest, near Hawkshead, on Thursday and Friday last week.
The programme was in the forest to film stories on the red kite reintroduction programme – the last 30 birds of the three-year project were released this week. John Craven spoke to Forestry Commission wildlife ranger Iain Yoxall and Grizedale Forest manager Dave Lowe about the red kites.
Dave said: “The Countryfile team were very interested in our red kite project because not only is this project really important for Cumbria and North West England, it also has a national significance as this is the last scheduled release of red kites in England following reintroductions in other regions.
“The filming was done ahead of the imminent release of the kites. We were able to tell them a lot about the birds and our on-going work to monitor them after they have been released. I’m sure it will make a great story on the TV.”
They also filmed a story on the sculptures in the forest – Grizedale, which was the first forest location for sculpture in England, has more than 60 pieces in the forest and there are exciting plans to bring more sculptures into the forest in the future.
Julia Bradbury interviewed Hayley Skipper, arts development curator for the Forestry Commission in England. She said:
“It was great to be able to talk to Julia and Countryfile about the amazing sculptures we have here at Grizedale Forest as well as our plans to create new innovative works in the future.
“Julia said she was a big fan of sculpture and outdoor art and she was genuinely enthusiastic about the pieces we showed her. It’s great that Countryfile will be able to show off these fantastic sculptures to a national audience.”
Julia also had a go at mountain biking around Grizedale’s many way-marked trails and she spoke to volunteer mountain biking enthusiasts who have helped to create a black-grade trail which opened in the forest earlier this year.
The Grizedale programme is due to be broadcast on BBC1 on Sunday, August 19.
Piture shows Julia Bradbury interviewing Hayley Skipper by the 'Woman of the Water' by Alannah Robins in Grizedale Forest.